Saturday, 21 August 2010

Arsenal v Blackpool: Big match preview

Today's match against Blackpool pits us against the unknown is someways. That's why Arsene Wenger yesterday described playing Blackpool at this time as being "dangerous."

It's in a similar vein as to when Hull City came to the Grove two seasons ago. Many thought Arsenal would win by a country mile, but in fact the promoted side gave us a going over.

Even though Blackpool are newly promoted and have been given the expectation of being this season's whipping boys, we should not underestimate them.

They proved last week against Wigan they are not to be taken lightly.

However if Arsenal approach this game in the right frame of mind, I see no reason why we can't win it.

Arsene Wenger said:
"We have to show we are mature enough to deal with these types of games where you are favourites - but you are only favourite if you deserve it and prepare mentally.
"Among the three teams who come up, there is always one team who are on a wave of euphoria, of momentum - and it is not always the team who has won the league.
"They have no doubt, and as long as the doubt is not created by the results, they play with a real freedom, which is why Blackpool will be a dangerous team."
The big loss from our starting eleven is Samir Nasri. The Frenchman had been the standout player in pre-season, making and scoring many of our goals. 

His place I expect will be filled by Tomas Rosicky. The Czech was the driving force behind Arsenal's recovery at Anfield and I expect his performance there to be rewarded with a starting spot today.

The only other forced change we have is in defence. Johan Djourou will come in for the suspended Laurent Koscielny. 

I have a feeling Theo Walcott may come in for Emmanuel Eboue, but I'm going to stick with the Ivorian. 

Apart from that I would expect Arsene Wenger to keep the same side today which faced Liverpool.

Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie will start from the bench. Alex Song will play some part I would imagine, to allow him some match fitness.

Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Clichy, Rosicky, Diaby, Wilshere, Eboue, Chamakh, Arshavin
Substitutes: Fabianski, Gibbs, Song, Fabregas, Walcott, van Persie, Vela

Get down to the Grove for 2.40pm, as there are going to be special celebrations to welcome the return of the Clock End clock.

And remember, sign up for the boys, they need our support.

Come on you reds!

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